Updated on: 2/26/2019
A Washington State resident died after suffering from severe brain damage at birth after a doctor induced his mother for labor with a drug that was explicitly warned by the manufacturer to not be used for that purpose. The baby was unable to hold himself up, swallow, suck or properly gag, relying on 16 hours of nursing care a day. He also took daily medication to prevent seizures, along with a sleeping sedative.
The doctor had several medical malpractice lawsuits filed against him prior to this incident. The family sued the doctor for medical malpractice as well.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider (doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, plastic surgeon, pharmacist, medical technician, etc.) in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. It is the failure of a medical professional or a medical facility to provide a minimum standard of care in the areas in which the medical professional or medical facility specializes.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
Common medical mistakes include:
• Leaving surgical sponges, instruments or other objects in patient
• Operating on the wrong side of the body
• Medication errors
• Post-surgical infections (failure to diagnose or treat infections)
In a Harvard Medical Practice Study, it was found that more than 180,000 people die every year due to medical mistakes. This means that more than 180,000 deaths each year are preventable.